Guide to the Best Ski Resorts in Canada

Our BIG bumper list of where to ski and snowboard in western Canada

Guide to the Best Ski Resorts in Canada

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fernie ski resort
Fernie Ski Resort. Photo: Henry Georgi

Canada is a magnet for skiers and snowboarders. With regular snow dumps, groomed slopes and well-planned mountains with plenty of facilities, it’s no wonder skiing in Canada is so popular. Favourable exchange rates (you can stay and ski for a week for as little as a few hundred dollars a person) makes holidaying at the best ski resorts in Canada a reality.

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There are so many wonderful places to ski in Canada, you’ll have trouble choosing.

We’ve put together a guide to skiing in Canada with an overview of the top ski resorts in Canada.

The best skiing in Canada is in British Columbia (on the coast, Thompson Okanagan and the Kootenay Rockies) and the Canadian Rockies in Alberta.

There are two types of skiing and boarding experiences.

You can choose to stay on the mountain and ski straight out the door or stay in a mountain town, like Banff, and enjoy the experience of national park skiing.

Here’s our big list of where to go skiing in Canada and a few tips on other things to do in Canada in winter you’re sure to love.  

British Columbia Ski Resorts – Coast

1- Whistler Blackcomb

whistler canada skiing resort
Whistler tops the skiing resorts in Canada list for its size, range of terrain and huge choice of apres ski activities.

Location: 125km (78 miles) from Vancouver
Snowfall: 11.63m (38 feet)
Runs: 200 marked ski runs, 3,307ha (8,171 acres)

There’s a good reason you probably already know a bit about Whistler Blackcomb.

The most famous ski resort in Canada is right up there on the list of best winter resorts in North America too.

Whistler Blackcomb has long ski seasons and a vibrant hub of cafes and culture.

The range of blue, green and black runs along with a variety of winter activities – from winter ziplining to ice climbing and winter bungee jumping – makes Whistler Ski Resort a great choice if you want a British Columbia ski resort with lots to do.  

There are two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers.

Keen skiers can have their pick of runs at the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Whistler ski holidays are suitable for both beginners and experienced skiers.

Whistler’s Ski with an Olympian program allows anyone to explore the mountain with an Olympic athlete as your guide.  

The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is an experience worth making the trip to Whistler for, even if you’re not a skier.  

What’s cool in Whistler Ski Resort?

  • Treat yourself to a luxury adventure exploring Pemberton Ice Fields in a helicopter, on a snowmobile or snow bike.
  • Then soak those aching legs in a backcountry hot springs, stay in a snow hotel and dine on gourmet cuisine.  

BOOK A WHISTLER HOTEL

2- Mount Washington Alpine Resort

best ski resorts in Canada
One of the best ski resorts in Canada for spectacular scenery is on Vancouver Island.

Location: near Courtney, Vancouver Island and a 40-minute drive from Comox Valley International Airport and Campbell River.
Snowfall: 11.5m (38 feet)
Runs: 81 marked ski runs, 688 hectares (1,700 acres), two terrain parks, five lifts and four Magic Carpets.

Until the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Mount Washington was pretty much a local secret.

Several national teams trained for the Olympics here and it has an excellent Nordic Centre, with plenty of groomed trails to explore.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort has scenic west coast views and tons of snow.

This Canada skiing resort has a laidback alpine village with ski-in, ski-out accommodation.  

What’s cool in Mount Washington Ski Resort?

  • Mount Washington is one of the best places to slip on the skinny skis. With its Nordic Centre on the edge of Strathcona Provincial Park, it offers 55km (30 miles) of machine-groomed cross-country trails and 22km (13.5 miles) of snowshoeing trails.

BOOK A HOTEL IN MOUNT WASHINGTON

British Columbia Ski Resorts- Okanagan

3- Sun Peaks Resort

skiing canada resorts
Ski Canada at Sun Peaks, for a family friendly ski resort in BC.

Location: 45 minutes from Kamloops, British Columbia
Runs: 135 ski runs covering 1728ha (4,270 acres) of skiable area, two bowls and 11 lifts.

Sun Peaks Resort is a large ski resort with five quads and the four hectare (10-acre) Rockstar Energy Terrain Park.

As Sun Peaks gets over 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, it’s a great place to go skiing in BC if you love bright sunny days.  

Other reasons to choose Sun Peaks is it has a charming European-style alpine village.

There are three mountains (Tod, Sundance and Morissey), with slopes for all ability levels from the top of every chairlift.

For Nordic skiers, there are 34.9km (21.7 miles) of groomed and track-set Nordic trails, 14.3km (nine miles) of backcountry and 16km (10 miles) snowshoe terrain.

What’s cool at Sun Peaks ski resort?

  • The Sun Peaks Sports School has courses for 13 to 18-year-olds to teach teens new skills and build confidence across the board, from powder-filled glades in the Teens’ All Mountain Program to boxes and jumps in the Teens’ Terrain Park Program.
  • Local skier Laurie White has a female-friendly program called Ski Sisters available twice a day six days a week.
  • Full-day private tours offer secrets of the alpine back country, where Sun Peaks’ top instructors guide guests to the best nooks, crannies and powder while sharing local lore about the area.

BOOK A SUN PEAKS HOTEL

4- Big White Ski Resort

ski canada resorts
As far as Canada skiing resorts go, you can’t beat Big White if you’re skiing with kids.

Location: 56km (35 miles) from Kelowna, British Columbia
Average annual snowfall: 7.5m (24.5 feet)
Runs: 118 trails over 3,052ha (7,355 acres) of terrain, 15 lifts and 618ha (1,525 acres) of alpines and glades.

Big White Ski Resort is a large family-friendly ski-in, ski-out resort village that has a big drawcard of champagne powder.

There’s a TELUS Park skier/boarder course and 25km (16 miles) of combined Nordic and wilderness trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

The Black Forest Day Lodge is a fast food outlet with a day-use lunch room, direct walk-to-lift access and ski lockers for season pass holders.

After dark, Big White comes alive with restaurants and entertainment.

This Canada skiing resort has Canada’s largest resort night skiing area and programs for all the family, from sleigh rides and bonfires to skating and ice climbing.

What’s cool at Big White?

  • Down a cowboy coffee with a kick at the Gunbarrel Grill, where servers prepare a Gunbarrel Coffee by pouring flaming Grand Marnier down the double-barrel of an unloaded shotgun.

BOOK A BIG WHITE HOTEL

5- SilverStar Mountain Resort

skiing resorts Canada
Skiing in Canada is a fantastic experience, whether you choose a big ski resort or a smaller one.

Location: 22 km (14 miles) from Vernon in British Columbia
Runs: 130 runs across 1328 skiable hectares (3,282 acres), 12 lifts and over 770ha (1,900 acres) of steep, deep, black and double black diamond runs.

SilverStar is a big mountain with a small-town feel. Located in a picturesque part of British Columbia, SilverStar is a favourite with locals, for its champagne powder and friendly ski village.

Of all the Canada ski resorts, SilverStar is possibly the most popular with Aussies. 

For international visitors, SilverStar is a one-hour drive from Kelowna’s airport.

It has ski-in, ski-out access, four mountain faces and is the third largest ski area in the province.  

SilverStar also offers cross-country skiing, with 105km (60 miles) of trails and a four-kilometre (2.5-mile) lit track for night skiing.

There’s lift access to upper trails and two certified biathlon ranges.

What’s cool at Silver Star?

  • SilverStar has 42ha (105 acres) of new terrain in Putnam Creek and Silver Woods with better grooming, improved trail signage and a larger selection of rental offerings (including pull sleds and more skate skis).

BOOK A SILVERSTAR HOTEL

6- Apex Mountain Resort

skiing in canada
Apex Mountain is one of the smaller BC ski resorts.

Location: 15 minutes from Penticton, British Columbia
Average annual snowfall: 600cm (236 inches)
Runs: 450 skiable hectares (1,112 acres), four lifts, 75 trails and a variety of bowls, glades and terrain parks.

Despite the terrific snow, varied terrain and proximity to Penticton, Apex Mountain Resort is still one of British Columbia’s hidden gems.

This Canada skiing resort is famous for its light-as-air champagne powder.

There’s a cosy village setting with ski-in, ski-out access, loads of après ski fun and activities for kids. Other activities include the Tube Park, snowshoeing, ice skating and cross-country skiing. There are 56 world-class trails at Nickel Plate Nordic Centre.

The one-kilometre (0.6-mile) ice-skating loop is open in the evenings and there’s an NHL-sized outdoor hockey rink for hockey, curling, bonspiels and skating practices.

What’s cool at Apex Mountain?

  • Apex Mountain is a National Training Centre for aerials and moguls.
  • There are three terrain parks: Claim Jumper Park for those who want to take advantage of rails, boxes and jumps, the fully lit Night Park, and Prospector Park.

BOOK A HOTEL AT APEX

British Columbia Ski Resorts – Kootenay Rockies

7- Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

canada best ski resorts
Some of the best Canadian ski resorts are in British Columbia. Head to Kicking Horse for amazing powder.

Location: Powder Highway
Average annual snowfall: 750cm (295 inches) at the summit.
Runs: 1,133ha (2,800 acres) of skiable terrain, with 121 runs, four alpine bowls, 85 chutes and five lifts including the high-speed Golden Eagle Express Gondola. 1,260m (4,133 feet) of vertical

There’s a good reason why Kicking Horse calls itself the “Champagne Powder Capital” of Canada.

It consistently receives enough of the fluffy white stuff to back up its claims and has steep that attract serious skiers.

Kicking Horse’s four heli- and cat-skiing operators provides plenty of choices for backcountry skiing too.  

Kicking Horse is located in British Columbia, between the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges.

It’s a popular ski field on the Powder Highway, which is a group of ski towns and resorts in the Kootenay Rockies.

The village has a range of accommodation and seven on-mountain dining options, including the Eagle’s Eye restaurant high on the mountain.

What’s cool at Kicking Horse ski resort?

  • Eagle’s Eye, Canada’s most elevated restaurant, offers a gourmet dining experience and spectacular views from 2,346m (7,700 feet) high.
  • There are also two luxurious suites, which come with a private chef, butler, ski guide and guaranteed fresh tracks in the morning.  

BOOK A HOTEL AT KICKING HORSE

8- Revelstoke Mountain Resort

canada ski holidays
Looking for somewhere cool for your Canada ski holidays? Check out Revelstoke.

Location: 199km from Kelowna, British Columbia
Runs: 1,263 ha (3,121 acres) of varying terrain with two alpine bowls, 65 named runs, and an incredible variety of terrain.

Although the town of Revelstoke has more than a century of skiing history (the area has historically been a destination for backcountry and heli-skiing operations), Revelstoke Mountain Resort is fairly new on the scene.

Located between the Selkirk and Monashee Mountain ranges, Revelstoke offer ski-in, ski-out accommodation at Sutton Place Hotel.  

One of Revelstoke’s attractions is it offers lift-, backcountry, cat- and heli-skiing from one village base.

Revelstoke also offers some amazing tree skiing, with 20ha (50 acres) of additional glading this season, and tandem paragliding flights on skis right from the mountain.

What’s cool at Revelstoke Mountain Resort?

  • Leave the selfie stick and home and relive your holiday on the slopes with the help of Revelstoke’s Paparazzi Pass. By downloading Revelstoke’s Paparazzi app, cameras all over the mountain communicate with your cell phone to record your moves so you can watch them online later.

BOOK A REVELSTOKE HOTEL

ski resorts in canada
Excited about this ski season in Canada? Here are 4 places to plan your Canada ski holidays

9- Kimberley Alpine Resort

Location: 20 minutes from Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook
Average annual snowfall: 400 cm (157 inches)
Runs: 729ha (1,800 acres) of skiable area and 80 runs, 12 of them through open glades.

Breathtaking views, tons of fresh powder and a laid-back ski town make Kimberley Alpine Resort an attractive ski resort far enough off the beaten track to avoid the crowds.

Surrounded by the Selkirk and Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, Kimberley Alpine Resort also has 33km (20 miles) of cross-country trails, ski-in, ski-out accommodation, family activities including a skating rink.

What’s cool at Kimberley Alpine Resort?

  • Ski or snowboard under the stars on one of North America’s longest illuminated runs.
  • Nordic skiers can head over to the Kimberley Nordic Centre, where a 3.3km (two-mile) loop is lit up at night.  

BOOK A HOTEL AT KIMBERLEY ALPINE RESORT

10- Fernie Alpine Resort

Location: 1.5-hour drive from the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook. Average annual snowfall: up to 11m (37 feet)
Runs: 1,011ha (2,500 acres) of skiing area, five alpine bowls, 142 marked runs and 10 lifts.

Fernie’s 19th-century mining boomtown past is reflected in the vintage architecture of its historic downtown. Charming, authentic, out-of-the-way Fernie is a magnet to powderhounds.

Once a small resort with big slopes, Fernie has grown to become one of the bigger resorts in the Canadian Rockies. Located between the Selkirk and Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, it has skiing, boarding and other winter activities.  

What’s cool at Fernie Alpine Resort?

  • Fernie is a live spot with some quirky events, such as the popular RETRO Ski Party weekends.
  • The town of Fernie is a lively spot with art galleries and shops.

BOOK A HOTEL AT FERNIE

11- Panorama Mountain Resort

Location: 308km (191 miles) west of Calgary
Average annual snowfall: 500cm
Runs: 1,152ha (2,847 acres) of terrain with 120 named runs, 1,225m (4,019 feet) of vertical, one spectacular bowl and 10 lifts.

Intimate, accessible, friendly and laid back, Panorama Mountain Resort is a family ski resort with incredible skiing and snowboarding.

It’s also a top spot for adventure-seekers, with heli-ski and snowmobile adventures offered right from the village.

Jib, slide and fly in the Rockstar Terrain Park, glide on 20km (12 miles) of groomed Nordic trails, soak in the slopeside hot pools or try fat tire biking in the snow.

What’s cool at Panorama Mountain Resort?

  • At Panorama, three rustic mountain huts offer an extraordinary dining experience with great views of the province. At the top of the peak, the Summit Hut is famous for smokies, perogies and fondue.
  • It’s accessible by chairlift but why not fly up there by helicopter? Panorama’s Heli-fondue is a signature experience to put on your bucket list.

BOOK A HOTEL AT PANORAMA MOUNTAIN

12- Whitewater Ski Resort

Location: near Nelson, British Columbia
Average annual snowfall: 12m
Runs: 479 skiable hectares (1,184 acres) and 632 vertical metres (2,044 vertical feet), 81 runs and four lifts.

Whitewater Ski Resort has uncrowded slopes with lots of snow. The mountain also has 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) of groomed Nordic tracks, 13 kilometres (eight miles) of which are snowshoe trails and five kilometres (three miles) of multi-use trails that include snow biking.

Fresh Tracks Café dishes up a popular menu that has inspired four bestselling cookbooks.

What’s cool at Whitewater Ski Resort?

  • The backcountry territory around Whitewater Ski Resort is known as the Cat Ski Capital of the World, with 38,445ha (95,000 acres) of powder terrain.

BOOK A HOTEL AT WHITEWATER

13- Red Mountain Resort

ski resorts in canada
Red Mountain is one of the best places to ski in Canada for cat skiing.

Location: near Rossland, British Columbia
Average annual snowfall: 7.6m (300 feet)
Runs: 1,164ha (2,877) acres of pristine skiing including fall-line runs, epic verticals (890 metres/2,919 feet), 360-degree descents off peaks and steep tree runs.

Think of Red Mountain Resort as one of those last remaining unspoilt resorts in BC.

Home of ski racing in Canada (the country’s first downhill race was held here in 1896 and its first World Cup in 1968), the mountain is known for its cat-skiing on the flanks of rugged Mt. Kirkup.

The resort offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, a modern ski-in, ski-out lodging, fine dining, a professional ski school, adventure activity booking centre, daycare and a free shuttle to Rossland.

What’s cool at Red Mountain Resort?

  • One of the best-kept secrets at Red Mountain Resort is the collection of cabins situated around Strawberry Pass; they’re a great place to stop, rest up and have a bite to eat in a funky setting. 
  • The 16 cabins were each built by locals on Crown land and available for day use. You’ll often spot three generations of family skiers or snowboarders warming up around the fire in these special shelters.

BOOK A HOTEL AT RED MOUNTAIN

Alberta Ski Resorts – Rocky Mountains

14- Mount Norquay

Location: near Banff, Alberta
Snowfall: 3m (120in)
Runs: 28 runs over 77ha and six lifts.

Mount Norquay is a training ground for Olympic and World Cup athletes. Gun Run and the North American, which hosted World Cup events in the 1970s, are among the steepest ski runs in Canada. But there are plenty of easy runs suitable for families.

Mount Norquay has the only night skiing in Banff-Lake Louise and has expert snowmaking on 85% of the terrain.

What’s cool at Mount Norquay?

  • The oldest ski resort in the Canadian Rockies (the first ski cabin was built in 1927) has a historic rope tow that was installed in 1941 and known as the “Big Chair”.  

15- Lake Louise Ski Resort

alberta ski resorts
Lake Louise tops the list of Alberta ski resorts for its stunning scenery facilities.

Location: 60km from Banff, Alberta
Average annual snowfall: 4.54m (179in)
Runs: 145 runs, 10 lifts

Spectacular scenery and versatile terrain make Lake Louise a magnet for skiers. Lake Louise is a sprawling ski resort great for families and groups of all abilities. There are beginner, intermediate and expert runs from every chair.

Voted Canada’s top ski resort at the World Ski Awards, Lake Louise has a variety of terrain, from gentle slopes and long cruising runs to glades, chutes and wide open bowls.

If you’re looking for a ski holiday with fabulous scenery you won’t be disappointed by Lake Louise Ski Resort. The only downside is you’ll be distracted by the spectacular views of mountains, glaciers, lakes and forests.

The Lodge of the Ten Peaks at the base of Lake Louise has a warm mountain ambience, with high ceilings and crackling fireplaces.

What’s cool at Lake Louise?

  • Spring is a great time to ski at Lake Louise when the temperatures are warmer, prices are affordable and the slopes are relatively empty (at least on weekdays).
  • Lake Louise usually gets fresh snow in Spring and there are plenty of fun events.

16- Sunshine Village

ski alberta
Ski Alberta: Sunshine Village is an impressive Banff ski resort for national park skiing in Canada.

Location: 15 minutes from Banff, Alberta
Average annual snowfall: nine metres (30 feet)
Runs: 107 runs over more than 3,300 acres of skiable terrain, 12 lifts

Sunshine Village sits on the Continental Divide in the heart of Banff National Park and has three sprawling mountains.

The Village’s altitude ensures the snow stays light and dry and the resort has a long ski season, usually seven months (from early November until late May).

Delirium Dive is high on the list of off-piste destinations in the world.

Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in Banff National Park. It has gorgeous views, restaurant, bar and spa facilities but lacks the nightlife if you choose to stay on mountain.

What’s cool at Sunshine Village?

  • Sunshine Village is home to Canada’s first heated chairlift, the TeePee Town LX high-speed quad has heated seats, footrests and orange bubble covers to protect you from the cold.

17- Marmot Basin

ski trips canada
Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park is well on truly on the Canada ski resorts map for those seeking a national park experience.

Location: 20 minutes from Jasper, Jasper National Park
Average annual snowfall: 4m (160in)
Runs: 86 runs over 678ha (1,675 acres), 7 lifts

A skiing destination in the Canadian Rockies, Marmot Basin offers a Rocky Mountain National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site skiing and snowboarding experience.

The surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful, with the ruggedly mountainous landscape of Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Other great reasons to choose Marmot Basin is it’s one of the least crowded ski areas and has a long season (November to May) with plenty of cold, dry Alberta powder.

Quebec Ski Resorts – The Laurentians

18- Mont Tremblant

Location: 130 km northwest of Montreal and 140 km from Ottawa.
Runs: 96 ski trails on 4 distinct slopes across 269 hectares.

Quebec may not have the towering mountain ranges that are a hallmark of British Columbia and Alberta, however, skiing in Quebec has its own charms.

There are good reasons why Mont Tremblant is consistently voted as the top ski resort in the eastern part of North America.

The picturesque village is located on the shores of Lake Mercer and is a charming winter getaway. Quebec is the perfect place to bundle up and enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire after a day out on the slopes.

19- Mont Blanc

Location: Laurentian Mountains near Tremblant
Runs: 43 ski trails and 7 lifts

Mont Blanc ski resort is a good choice for children and beginners as the learning area has magic carpet lifts and there’s a fabulous snow park. The design of the mountain and the ski-in/ski-out accommodation makes it an easy place to visit on a family holiday.

Quebec Ski Resorts – Quebec City

20- Le Massif de Charlevoix

Location: 73km north-east of Quebec City
Runs: 52 trails and164ha of skiable terrain

Le Massif de Charlevoix has the highest vertical to the east of the Canadian Rockies. A winter vacation at Le Massif offers amazing views (the valley slopes down to the St Lawrence River) and French flair.

The other big benefit is it’s close to Quebec City. Le Train du Massif de Charlevoix runs from Quebec City along the river valley to the bottom of the resort’s gondola.

Another winter activity worth seeing at Le Massif is the ice canoeing, where competitors paddle the icy waters of the St. Lawrence River between L’Isle-aux-Coudres and St-Joseph-de-la-Rive.

21- Mont-Sainte-Anne

Location: 30 minutes from Quebec City
Runs: 71 trails covering 73 km with 221.5ha

Mont Sainte Anne can be easily tackled as a day trip from Quebec City. The longest trail, Le Chemin du Roy is 5.7km and 19 runs are lit up for night skiing.

Go fat biking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Rappel down frozen waterfalls or go on an ice canyoning adventure. A tandem paragliding adventure offers an adrenalin rush and a fantastic winter view of the St. Lawrence River.

Ski resorts in Ontario

22- Blue Mountain

Location: Central Ontario in the Barrie Snow Belt, two hours north of Toronto
Runs: 43 trails, 13 lifts, 365 skiable acres

Ontario may not have the soaring mountain ranges that western Canada is famous for. Although Ontario’s ski hills may be limited in height – the tallest (Blue Mountain) is 219m – you don’t have to travel far from Toronto to find some decent skiing.

Toronto’s ski resorts offer a variety of accommodation, groomed slopes and efficient lift systems. You can ski in Ontario from mid-December to March.

Blue Mountain has a charming European style village and a reasonable variety of terrain that interconnects through a network of trails. The mid-sized ski resort is perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers.

Skiing in Canada

Skiing in Canada

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